MARTIN McGuinness has condemned an attempt to bomb British Army offices as “an attack on the Peace Process”.
The Deputy First Minister made his comments as suspected explosive devices were found at four armed forces recruitment centres in south-east England yesterday.
One of the suspicious packages had a Republic of Ireland postmark.
Downing Street said the attempted bombing bore “the hallmarks of Northern Ireland-related terrorism” and described the devices as “crude, but potentially viable”.
The suspected bombs were discovered at army offices in Oxford, Brighton, Canterbury and the Queensmere shopping centre in Slough yesterday, counter-terrorism police officers said.
They added that three similar packages had been discovered in Aldershot and Reading earlier this week.
The news has prompted fears of a renewed focus on Britain by republican dissidents, with The Daily Mail using the headline: “Irish bombs return to Britain”.
Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Ivan Lewis MP said the bombing attempt resembled other dissident activity designed to “reverse the progress we have seen in NI over the past 15 years”.
“Their attempt to harm innocent people will be condemned by the people of Northern Ireland, including by those they claim to represent,” he added.
Detective Superintendent Stan Gilmour, of the South East Counter Terrorism Unit, said the “suspicious” contents of the packages have been sent off for forensic examination.
“Even if the contents are determined to be a viable device, they pose a very low-level threat and are unlikely to cause significant harm or damage,” he added.
“When a suspect package is reported we have a routine response which means we may need to evacuate the area if necessary until we can be sure it poses no threat to the public.”